Patchwork and Quilted Cushions

Published: Tuesday, 30th June 2020 06:55 AM

Patchwork and Quilted Cushions

Patchwork and quilting are great decorative textile crafts that also work well on a smaller scale. When Amy Emms was teaching her students to quilt, she always recommended they start with a smaller object, like a cushion, before they moved on to a full size bed quilt. It lets you practise the necessary skills but also gives you a sense of satisfaction by completing a project through to the end.

And speaking of Amy Emms, let's start with a beautiful hand quilted Amy Emms Cushion. It was made in 1991, and features a feather wreath on one side and filled wine glass design with a border of chain and feather on the other, with square diamonds on the depth of the cushion. The edges have been piped and there is an Amy Emms label present on the side.

These two hexagon rosette pin cushions were made by Averil Colby in the mid-20th century. The larger one measures 4.5cm at its widest point and has striped fabric with a central blue rose. The smaller one measures just 3.7cm and has plain mauve hexagons and a central purple hexagon, decorated with a circle of sequins and beads. Averil Colby was, without a doubt, the queen the mosaic patchwork, and this can be seen even in these tiny examples.

This marked cushion top was never quite finished, which is a shame as it would have made an attractive and fashionable cushion. Made from gold coloured rayon it is most probably a transfer design from ''Penelope' Quilting magazine purchased by the mother of the donor in Peterborough during the 1940s-50s. The cushion top has been tacked around the outside to a square of wool wadding.

This unusual three-dimensional circular cushion is made from a technique known as Quill Patchwork. Each piece is made from a rectangle of fabric, whose top corners are folded down to the centre bottom edge to form a triangle. The sides are then folded in to create an elongated pentagon shape. It was popular in the late Victorian period, but this piece was made in the 1950s from blue, pink and gold rayon fabrics.

This decorative pin cushion has a patchwork pattern of a diamond petalled flower in the centre and four main coloured squares. It was made in silk and and velvets with beaded pins that form decorative patterns in the surface. There are cream and pink silk ribbon bows on each corner, and a lace frill edge to the cushion. The cushion is stuffed with sawdust, and this piece is purely for decoration rather than use.

Averil Colby Pin CushionsAveril Colby Pin Cushions

Marked Cushion TopMarked Cushion Top

Quill CushionQuill Cushion

Patchwork Pin CushionPatchwork Pin Cushion